Cheesecloth-like layer on walls

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Hello, group,
We are buying a house that has wallpaper everywhere imaginable. In one room however, only one wall had wallpaper, and the other three had some kind of cheesecloth layer. This is a 1960's house. I've heard that before they'd put canvas/cheesecloth on walls to make them smoother for wallpaper. Do you think this is it? If it is, would I remove it like regular wallpaper or are there special techniques? Should I expect this cheesecloth layer behind the wallpaper everywhere else? I'd like to tear down the wallpaper and paint the walls. In the room that has this cheesecloth stuff, should I remove it, or would the primer/paint cover the cheesecloth texture?
Thank you, Elana
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elanamig wrote:

Most likely, you are going to find cheesecloth behind the other wallpaper as well. That is an old method of wallpapering that was used back in the old days. It is applied with tacks over shiplap walls (solid wood). When you remove the cheesecloth, you are going to find the shiplap, which does not have an even surface. You can paint it, but there are gaps between each board and these will stand out with paint.
I have seen these types of walls sanded down and stained, but that is labor intensive and expensive. Just removing all the tacks will be a job in and of itself.
Take down a wall of the cheesecloth and look at it. You are the only one that can decide what you can live with.
In most cases like this, we have installed drywall over the shiplap and then taped and floated, textured, then paint. This also repairs the drafty quality of these kinds of walls, as the gaps between the shiplap allow quite a bit of air and sound through the walls, especially on exterior walls.
I like the shiplap walls because they are solid wood. This makes installing drywall a breeze and you can hang a picture or cabinets anywhere, without having to look for studs. The insulation may be another issue that you have to look into, however, as these walls are often uninsulated.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Robert Allison wrote:

Robert, thanks for your reply. Do you think the thinnest (1/4") drywall will be enough, or would we need to put up something thicker?
Thanks, Elana
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I've never heard of 1/4" drywall. Around here, 1/2" is the standard.
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GoHabsGo wrote:

This looks like it's 1/4" drywall from HomeDepot (Enter your area code, then clicked "Select st ore" on the first store listed on the right, and you'll see the item. I tried my area code, and 90210 as well, and got this product at both locations)
http://contractorservices.homedepot.com/StoreProducts/ProductInfo.aspx?cid4185&pid&9f681e-27d6-406b-816e-71bdd3f9052e
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I stand corrected. Pretty soon they'll be making houses out of paper alone!
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I;m pretty sure that 1/4" drywall is intended as a veneer over damaged walls, and/or in layers around a curve.
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[...]
heh... I've heard of 1/4" being used in a few ways: 1: dampen two layers and ease into curves for arched application. 2: use as replacement "scratch" coat where you plaster over the entire wall. 3: Bulking up 1/2 drywall for fire/sound proofing 4: evening out a badly damaged/cracked but stabilized wall.
I'm sure there are other uses.
I don't think anyone is considering using a single 1/4" layer as an exclusive wall covering!
--
May no harm befall you,
flip
Ich habe keine Ahnung was das bedeutet, oder vielleicht doch?
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Philip Edward Lewis wrote:

We're considering 1/4" drywall to cover up existing wallpaper if it cannot be removed.
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elanamig wrote:

If you check, you will find that 3/8" is cheaper than 1/4", and 3/8" will bridge the irregularities better. In answer to your other question in another post, you do not have to remove the wallpaper or cheesecloth to hang the drywall.
The issues you will have will be the trim. We address this two ways. The best (but of course the most expensive) is to remove all of the trim, install the drywall, then install jamb extensions at windows (if wood trimmed) and doors. Then reinstall trim and base. This gives you a good long lasting result that will last as long as any other similar wall system.
The other method is to leave the trim in place and run the drywall up to it. Tape and float the drywall, then caulk the drywall to trim. This is not as satisfactory because the caulk may fail in places and have to be maintained. Also, you must be much more precise with your drywall installation. In addition, it takes most of the 3 dimensional look that your trim provides, leaving you with a flatter wall detail.
A lot of what you do will depend on your budget and your tastes. Some older (thin) trim may be difficult to remove and reuse, so that may also be an issue. Alot of the older homes had 1x4 or 1x6 trim and base, so if you have that in your home, removing and reusing it is not usually an issue.
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Ugh... You're right. Some rooms have new windows too, so I'm not sure how much of the DIY job this is... For the rooms that have old windows (which will be replaced eventually), would I be able to go the caulk route temporarily, and then extend the drywall once the older windows are removed?
Elana
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elanamig wrote:

Sure you could, but you'd not like to see what's involved later in extending the drywall up to the window jambs. Just not practical, IMHO.
HTH, J
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elanamig wrote:

Sure. You can do anything you want. Rather than extend the drywall, you could come up with a window size and a trim detail that extends over the newly installed drywall and eliminate the problem that way. If you are talking about windows that require a wrapped jamb (wrapped with drywall), then my suggestion will not work, of course.
Most older windows (double hung, wood) will have counterweights behind the trim. Newer wooden windows do not use the counterweight system, so the windows can be wider, taking up the space of the counterweights. If you can do this (and some of this is determined by your exterior wall covering), then the same size trim will reach over and cover the drywall that you installed.
I hope this makes sense, because it is rather difficult to explain, but easy to see.
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Robert Allison wrote:

Robert, thanks again for a great answer. It's a bit difficult for me to visualize at this moment. However, if all goes well with the closing (today), in a few days we'll go there and really look/poke around, so I'll have a better understanding of what materials/challenges there are, and I'll surely be back to this topic!
I appreciate the great details you're giving! Thank you! Elana
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elanamig wrote:

No problem. By the way, here is a site that has some good photos of an old double hung window showing the counterweights.
http://www.bergersonwindow.com/BERGERSON%20CUSTOM%20WOOD%20CEDAR%20HUNG%20WINDOWS.htm
By looking at these, you can see that without the counterweights, the window can extend to both sides (thus moving the trim over), so you can cover the drywall.
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Asked the owners at the closing today what their walls were made of, and they said - plasterboard, which, as I read right now, is the same thing as drywall... So, if they're correct, why on earth would they put cheesecloth over drywall???
Anyway, we're going to try to pull some wallpaper/cheesecloth stuff off to see what's behind it... Somehow it seemed like such an easy project, and now I'm dreading it.
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elanamig wrote:

Probably because they really don't know. Many homeowners have no idea what their walls are like, even if they've lived there for 10 years or more.

Anyway, my suggestion is to go with the 3/8 as you will not have as good a chance of it flexing and snapping on you while you put it up or transport it. A hint for your inspection - check the ceiling as well, its probably drywall or could even be plaster over a solid wood ceiling.
Older homes could be such a pleasure to renovate if the previous owners weren't such lousy shade tree "handy men."
--
Grandpa

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elanamig wrote:

Plaster board is not same as drywall in design. Plaster board is used in place of wood lathe and is usually plastered over. I can see in some warm areas the cheese cloth and wallpaper over it could be used for economical reason.
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Also, Should we just save ourselves the time and put up drywall over the wallpaper, or do we need to remove the wallpaper/cheesecloth anyway, for hygenic or other reasons?
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First you may want to open up a small hole in the wall the ensure that there are boards behind the wallpaper and to determine if there is insulation. If no insulation you may want to take steps to either open up the wall to insulate or drill holes in each cavity to blow in insulation or have foam injected.
If the walls are truly wooden boards with multiple paper/cloth coatings, then I would drywall over the whole lot. This will cover the holes made for insulation. If there is crumbling plaster, particularly plaster reinforced with horsehair that is decaying, you may want to strip down to the frame where insulating and vapor barrier will be an easy installation.

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